Abundance and Characterization of Perfect Microsatellites on the Cattle Y Chromosome
Microsatellites or simple sequence repeats (SSRs) are found in most organisms and play an important role in genomic organization and function. To characterize the abundance of SSRs (1-6 base-pairs [bp]) on the cattle Y chromsome, the relative frequency and density of perfect or uninterrupted SSRs based on the published Y chromosome sequence were examined. A total of 17,273 perfect SSRs were found, with total length of 324.78 kb, indicating that approximately 0.75% of the cattle Y chromosome sequence (43.30 Mb) comprises perfect SSRs, with an average length of 18.80 bp. The relative frequency and density were 398.92 loci/Mb and 7500.62 bp/Mb, respectively. The proportions of the six classes of perfect SSRs were highly variable on the cattle Y chromosome. Mononucleotide repeats had a total number of 8073 (46.74%) and an average length of 15.45 bp, and were the most abundant SSRs class, while the percentages of di-, tetra-, tri-, penta-, and hexa-nucleotide repeats were 22.86%, 11.98%, 11.58%, 6.65%, and 0.19%, respectively. Different classes of SSRs varied in their repeat number, with the highest being 42 for dinucleotides. Results reveal that repeat categories A, AC, AT, AAC, AGC, GTTT, CTTT, ATTT, and AACTG predominate on the Y chromosome. This study provides insight into the organization of cattle Y chromosome repetitive DNA, as well as information useful for developing more polymorphic cattle Y-chromosome-specific SSRs.